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Labor will make the Australian economy fairer and more competitive by raising the penalties for competition and consumer breaches to levels in line with other advanced nations. In recent years, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has brought cases against a veritable who’s who of major firms. Telstra was fined for misleading consumers about…

Read More Labor proposes to increase penalties for competition law contraventions if elected

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The Morrison Government has issued a safety warning notice to the public regarding risks associated with button batteries. Button batteries, also known as coin cell batteries, are flat, round, single cell batteries, used in a broad range of personal and household products such as children’s toys, hearing aids, watches, remote controls, digital thermometers and bathroom…

Read More Coalition issues button battery safety alert

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A new Customer Hardship Policy Guideline released by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) today will bring greater clarity and consistency to the support retailers are required to provide to their customers and new penalties will apply where retailers fail to meet their obligations. “More Australian households are experiencing difficulty paying their bills. We are seeing rising levels…

Read More Hardship protections a right not a privilege

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The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have released a series of publications and an online tool allowing policyholders – for the first time – to compare life insurers’ performance in handling claims and disputes. The joint project is the culmination of more than two years of work…

Read More APRA and ASIC publish world-leading life insurance data

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Almost 38 million life insurance cover types were in force at 30 June 2018, according to the inaugural Annual Industry Data and Compliance Report compiled by the Life Code Compliance Committee (LCCC). The report is based on information provided by subscribers to the Life Insurance Code of Practice). Death (41%) and total and permanent disability…

Read More Life insurance code monitoring body delivers report on Australian life insurance industry compliance

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A new report released today by Australia’s peak communications consumer organisation, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), shows that telco customer service representatives are being encouraged to focus on selling over service, potentially exposing consumers to questionable selling practices. The Spotlight on Telco Commissions and Targets exploratory report was commissioned following a number of…

Read More ACCAN shines a light on telco sales practices in new report

L-R: ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard, CFA Deputy Chair Gordon Renouf and Lauren Levin

The CFA Prize for Consumer Advocacy is awarded annually at the ACCC National Consumer Congress. Now in its second year, the prize is open to any consumer advocate or advocacy organisation who has conducted consumer advocacy during the previous year.   This year, the judging panel consisted of Gail Pearson, Gordon Renouf and Delia Rickard. Entries were judged on the following…

Read More 2019 CFA Advocacy Prizewinner announced

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The Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA) has formally warned Telstra, Optus and Vodafone for failing to provide information about products and services that may suit the needs of consumers with a disability. Telcos are required to provide this information under telecommunications consumer protection rules.  ‘Telecommunications services play a vital role in the lives of all…

Read More Telcos warned about disability information failures

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Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) supports a ban on vendor term and rent-to-buy agreements in the housing market proposed by the Sale of Land Amendment Bill 2019, which is to be introduced to Parliament today. The ban was a key recommendation from Consumer Action’s 2015 report, Fringe Dwellings: The vendor finance and rent-to-buy housing black…

Read More Ban on vendor term and rent-to-buy transactions to make buying a home fairer for all Victorians

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CHOICE says children’s lives are being jeopardised by business ignoring button battery risk, and are calling for an overhaul of product safety laws in the wake of recent tests which show manufacturers and retailers are ignoring safety risks posed by button battery powered items. “10 out of 17 button battery powered household items failed CHOICE…

Read More Button battery safety failures